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Take your legal practice forward with a telephone answering service

When you’re a lawyer, there are certain things you absolutely can’t afford to neglect. At the top of your list should be client communication. It’s imperative that you provide a top-level of communication to your clients, and that they feel as though they’re well cared for. People should be able to call your legal practice and receive stellar communication at all times.

Unfortunately, the life of an attorney is far from simple. Sometimes, you don’t have enough time to think about communication when you’re working on a big case. As such, you need to look for alternative methods to ensure you still provide a great service to your clients. One thing you can use is a live answering service - also known as a virtual receptionist. They can field your calls and bring many benefits to your practice. In fact, here are five reasons your legal practice should think about getting an answering service:

More Affordable Than Hiring A Receptionist

Many legal firms opt to hire a receptionist that sits at a desk all day and answers calls for you. This has long been seen as a smart idea as it means someone else can handle these tasks for you, leaving you and any other attorneys to focus on cases and other legal work. The problem is, a receptionist will add some significant expenses to your yearly budget. You have to pay them a permanent wage, benefits, and so on. Plus, there could be days where you just don’t get many calls at all, which means they may not have a lot of work to do. As such, you’re paying them to sit around playing games on their phones and updating their social media. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a professional receptionist on the other end of the phone who answers with your firms name, takes a message for you and only costs you for the actual time that they are working?. On top of that, you do not have to worry about annual leave, sick pay, superannuation and long service leave!

With a live answering service, you have a far more affordable option. Instead of hiring an employee - and also paying for the cost of recruitment - you pay a fee to acquire a virtual receptionist. There’s no need for an employee benefits package, you don’t waste money on holiday wages; it’s far cheaper. Speaking of holidays, a virtual receptionist will always be available 24/7 for your business. So, you never have to worry about absences at all, which adds to the cost-effectiveness.

Avoid Wasting Time & Energy

As touched upon before, attorneys have very complicated and complex jobs. You may be tasked with some very important cases that require most of your attention and mental energy. Consequently, the last thing you need is a phone that’s constantly ringing. The amount of time you waste answering phone calls is quite astonishing. Let’s say the average call you receive lasts as little as five minutes. If you answer ten calls per day, then you’re wasting nearly an hour of the working day answering calls that may not be as significant as the work you have sitting on your desk.

But, when you use a telephone answering service, you’re essentially delegating these tasks to someone else. A virtual receptionist picks up all the calls, so you don’t have to. Instead of wasting your valuable time on calls that aren’t that important, you can focus on what really matters. As a result, your legal firm will become much more productive as well. You can work on cases without worrying about being interrupted by calls, which means you may be able to get things done a lot quicker too. This keeps clients happy, and everyone benefits. You can also have your virtual receptionist filter out all of those time wasting calls and just forward through to you the ones that are important.

Prevent Missed Calls

One of the primary reasons a lot of attorney’s waste time answering calls is because the alternative is even worse. If you don’t pick up the phone, then you end up with a backlog of missed calls. This is potentially detrimental to your firm for many reasons. Firstly, you could possibly miss out on clients as you didn’t answer the phone and they rang a rival legal firm and decided to work with them instead. Secondly, you could put existing clients in a bad mood as they feel neglected when their calls are never answered. This may result in bad reviews for your firm, which may make it harder for you to gain new clients in the future. Lastly, missed calls need to be followed up. Therefore, you will waste loads of time going through all the missed calls and messages, then spending even more time responding to everyone and apologising.

At the end of the day, it’s not worth the hassle, which is why answering calls is a must. So, if you use a virtual receptionist service, then you’ll never have to deal with missed calls ever again. Everyone that rings your firm will have their call answered and dealt with in a friendly and professional manner. Existing clients are kept happy, and you can start growing leads and perhaps taking on more new clients too.

Create A More Efficient Workplace

Another great reason to use a telephone answering service is that it helps create a more organised and efficient workplace. Typically, when someone calls your firm, you will have to take a lot of notes during the call. This includes making a record of the time the person called, what they called for, their name, their contact details, and so on. Doing this with every single phone call suddenly means you have loads of bits of paper lying around with so many different notes on them. In short; your firm can become a bit of an unorganised mess.

How will a telephone answering service help in this regard? Primarily, the virtual receptionist will handle all the organisation for you. They will write notes on every call that comes through and then send those messages to you via email or SMS (email delivery is free, while SMS incurs a small per unit fee). There’s no paper mess to worry about, and your firm becomes far more organised. Additionally, take into account the fact that you’d normally try and get through a call as quickly as possible and so might miss specific details. With a virtual receptionist, they don’t miss anything and can take their time on calls to ensure all the right information is noted. Your workplace becomes more efficient as a result of this because you can just open emails and receive loads of information on potential new clients or cases.

Improves Your Reputation

As you’re already aware, having a good reputation means everything for a legal firm. This industry is extremely competitive, and most lawyers will get clients through recommendations, reviews, and word of mouth. If a client uses your legal firm and is happy with the job you do or impressed by the service they received, then they’re likely to tell people, and your reputation will increase.

The consequence of this is that your firm will continue to prosper and have the edge over the competition. When you utilise an answering service, you can instantly improve your reputation and reap the rewards that follow. It all boils down to providing an excellent service for your clients and ensuring communication is fantastic. With a virtual receptionist able to answer all your calls, no one is left waiting, customer satisfaction is through the roof, and your firm will benefit.

Get more out of your legal firm by using a telephone answering service. It’s evident that this type of professional answering service will assist your firm on a day in day out basis. You never have to worry about missed calls, there’s no time wasted answering basic calls, and it’s a lot cheaper than hiring an actual receptionist.

If you’re interested in getting a virtual receptionist for your legal practice, then we can help. Contact Ruby Receptionist Services today to learn more about what we do and the full services we offer. We work with hundreds of legal firms around Australia, ranging from one man bands to firms with 20 or more employees. Whether you are a small legal firm or a large one, the efficient team at Ruby Receptionist can help you to make your team more efficient and more productive.